The fourth seminar among the series that started in January will be held from 9 to 13 May, 2016, at the Euro-Arab Foundation. The series are part of the activities carried out by the ‘Chair of Studies in Islamic Civilization and Renewal of Religious Thought’, established by the Euro-Arab Foundation and the Mominoun Without Borders Foundation. During five consecutive days, the seminar will discuss the important contemporary Islamist movements, their histories, positions and transformations, and analyze similarities and differences between Islam as a religion and the so-called ‘Political Islam’.

The Seminar Islam and Political Islam: Similarities and Differences tackles the issue of ‘political Islam’ and the dilemmas that result from the unfortunate mixing between Islam as a religion and political Islam. This issue requires a good understanding of the political reality that prevails in the Arab world. As well, it needs a deep consideration of the ideological bases of those Islamist movements and the political requirements called for by the Arab Spring which have taken the so-called political Islam from opposition to authority situating it, currently, face to face with the challenges of transition and management of State affairs.

The seminar discusses important contemporary Islamist movements, their histories, positions and transformations. Furthermore, it analyzes similarities and differences between Islam as a religion and ‘political Islam’, as well as study the relation between democracy, civil State, the West, modernity, women, citizenship, human rights, identity, secularism, globalization and governance.

Moreover, it compares discourses of Islamist ideologies before the Arab Spring and after gaining power and governing some countries like Egypt and Tunisia. It also examines their transformations on the level of political discourse and action, anticipating the future of ‘political Islam’ and its relation with the nation-State in the light of the development of Arab political events.


  • RIDWAN AL-SAYYID.  Professor of Islamic Studies at the Lebanese University of Beirut. Graduated from the Faculty of Theology of Al-Azhar University in Cairo. Doctor in Islamic Studies from the University of Tübingen in Germany. From 1993 to 1997, Visiting Professor at the Universities of Harvard and Chicago. 
  • MOHAMMED BENSALAH. Professor at the Unviersity of Mohamed VI in Rabat, researcher in history, political thought and issues related to renewal of islamic thought.
  • RAFAEL ORTEGA RODRIGO.  Professor at the Department of Semitic Studies at the University of Granada. Graduated in Geography and History from the University of Valencia. Doctor in Semitic Studies from the University of Granada. Literary and sworn translator of Arabic language. Deputy Secretary for Cultural Cooperation and International Relations at the Euro-Arab Foundation.


1. Beginnings and Suggestions of Political Islam.

2. Religion and State according to Political Islam.

3. Possibilities and Results of Political Islam.

4. Political Islam: Dilemma regarding the Concept and Issue of Political Legitimacy.

5. Islamist Movements between Moderation and Extremism: Factors of Appearance and Sociopolitical Changes.

6. Political Islam: Arab Spring and Modern State.

7. Islam according to Contemporary Occidental Historiography.

8. Ambiguous Relation between Institutionalized Religious Power (Institutional Islam), Political Power and Islamist Reply in Contemporary Arab-Islamic Societies.

9. Forgotten Islam: Quotidian Islam vs. Reformist Islam (Reformist and Innovative Discourse)

10. One Islam and Several Readings.

11. Islamic Activism.

12. Religion? Politics? Political Religion?



  • Offer an epistemic vision of Political Islam, its appearance and development.
  • Consider different perspectives of Political Islam and approaches to its analysis and criticism.
  • Discuss how Islamist movements act towards the State, democracy, modernity, human rights and the West.
  • Compare political Islam’s attitude with the principles of Quran and highlight their most relevant similarities and differences.

The Seminar will be held from 9 to 13 May, 2016, from Monday to Thursday (17h00 to 21h00) and Friday (10h00 to 14h00).

- Working hours: 20 hours.

- Registration fees: 10 €.

- Acreditation: The Euro-Arab Foundation for Higher Studies will give a Certificate of Achievement to students who attend minimum 80% of the sessions.

- Registration: Obligatory. Limited places (30). Registraton open till 8 May, 2016. Presentation of the Application Form is requiered. (Application Form attached in this same page).

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